By JANNA SIMPKINS
Some of us know her by her famous squat, but most of us know her as the APSU Lady Govs head basketball coach.
There are lots of things that define Carrie Daniels- OVC Champion (1995-1996), APSU Alum, coach of two time OVC Champions (2008-2009 and 2009-2010), but most importantly she is a mother.
“I am first and foremost a mother to a wonderful son who was sent from heaven above.” A quote from Daniel’s Facebook, went on to say, “I am so blessed.”
Most mothers claim to be blessed, but most don’t go through the struggles Carrie did. “After suffering through three miscarriages, my pregnancy with him was considered high risk and he came a month early.”
Dalton came while Daniels was still coaching at Western Kentucky, on the night of Selection Sunday, the day the Lady Toppers were selected to travel to Georgia to take on Rutgers. Needless to say, Daniels missed that trip to Georgia, but there would be a couple more NCAA trips to date to make up for it (2008-Michigan and 2010-Knoxville).
If you have class or work in the Dunn Center in the afternoon, you have probably run into her son. “He is good about listening to other adults, he usually finds something to keep him occupied during practice” said Autumn Davis, athletic trainer. “Dalton feels very comfortable in the Dunn Center, or any gym for that matter.” Daniels went on to say “He has grown up in gyms.”
“Depending on what time practice ends I head to daycare to pick Dalton up or send one of my managers to get him, which Dalton prefers.” After school, he spends time in the gym with his mom. “During practice, managers keep an eye on him.” Davis said, sometimes he just watches practice. “As Dalton has gotten older, I have noticed his interest growing with the game of basketball.”
“At one point last year after picking him up after school, he informed me we had lost like eight straight games.
Needless to say this was a down point for me and the team. He told me that if we didn’t win the tournament we wouldn’t be able to cut down the nets.
He asked if we won that year if he could cut down the net. At the point winning the tournament was a far cry the way we were playing but I nodded my head and said, ‘Of course you can Dalton.’”
“Of course the rest is history when we won the second OVC Championship. I still don’t know how he made it to the court that fast but as soon as I turned around, he was right there asking, ‘When do I get to cut down the nets mommy?’
Not only does Dalton spend time with his mom at practice, but he likes watching basketball film too. “What’s funny is when I’m at home watching film he’ll ask who I’m watching and then he’ll have comments about them.”
Davis went on to say, “Practice and game days are both a good way for Carrie and Dalton to spend mother son time together.” With Daniels’ busy schedule she spends more time with her son than most moms.
“I always know that regardless of how my day goes, how my team performs, that I’m going to come home to my smiling son and he’s going to wrap his arms around me and tell me how much he loves me. It is at that moment that puts everything back into perspective.” TAS